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July 05, 2011

Media Can't Get Enough of Its New Pet Meme That Romney Flip Flopped On Whether Obama Made the Recession Worse

Again, there is no, and was no, flip-flop.

There are two separate questions:

1. Did Obama make the recession worse than it otherwise would have been? Romney's answer, as well as every Republican's answer (pretty much) is "Yes."

2. Is the economy currently worse than it was in January 2009, when Obama took office? His answer is "I didn't say that." It would be hard to make this case, and few do.

To make this case, you have to disregard signs of meager improvement in GDP and unemployment, and rest your case -- quite plausibly -- that we now have a huge and exploding debt likely to sink us, whereas in 2009 we hadn't yet incurred such a huge debt. It's a question of "Would you rather be bleeding to death, but with medicine remaining in your medicine cabinet, or bleeding to death at a slightly slower pace but with all your medicine now wasted futilely?" This is a tough argument to make. Makeable, but gets into tedious argument. Which is why Romney (and most candidates) would prefer avoiding the question. Gets into the weeds.

The media is taking an answer to the second question as if it's related to the first one, being stupid and dishonest as usual, and conservatives aren't calling them on their stupidity and dishonesty because they tend not to like Romney.

But the same tactic will be used against candidates we do like. And stupid lies should always be called out in any event.

What they wish is to compel Romney to say "The economy has improved some since 2009," which will immediately become the media's and the Obama campaign's (but I repeat myself) favorite soundbite for 2012.

There is no flip-flop, though the liberal media is determined to pretend there is.

Example: The Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) liked to claim that Bush's policies made the recovery worse than it would have been, circa 2003-2006.


Now, in claiming that his policies had stunted the recovery, were they also claiming that the economy in 2006 (growing, with medium-low unemployment) was objectively worse than the economy in 2001, when he inherited a recession from Clinton?

No, they didn't, and they couldn't. 2001 was a recessionary year with shrinking GDP and high-ish unemployment. 2006 was a growth year with expanding GDP and low-ish unemployment.

Now if any Republican tried to twist a Democrats' words about Bush hurting the recovery into an erroneous claim that the economy was in worse shape in 2006 than in 2001, would the media have permitted this?

Of course not. The two ideas are unrelated and an answer to one is not an answer to another.

The media knows this or... well, I was going to say "the media knows this" or is stupid but I'm really liking "stupid" lately.

They're simply not good at their jobs.

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posted by Ace at 03:14 PM

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